My Day as a Pageant Judge

11:41 AM

Hello blog readers. Did any of you tune into the Miss America pageant this weekend? We were watching closely as Miss Phenix City, Meg McGuffin, was representing our state as Miss Alabama

If you didn't watch, she did really well and was named 4th runner up. Out of all 52 states/contestants! She's on the far right. Great job, Miss Alabama!

So you may be wondering when I become so interested in pageants? I was never in a pageant myself, but learned a lot about the pageant life when I went to college. Several of my sorority sisters competed in pageants while in college. One of my pledge sisters was named Miss University of Alabama when we were sophomores - in fact, I pulled up a link to see what year she served and realized a different Phi Mu was crowned three years in a row as Miss U of A. Another sister, Allison, went on to be named Miss Mississippi the year she graduated. So by living in the sorority house with them I saw how much extra work they put in and how dedicated they were to the cities or states they represented.  

Fast forward to this spring. The director of the Miss Phenix City pageant asked me to serve as community judge for the local preliminary in July. I knew it would be fun, so I agreed. 

The day of the pageant I reported early to go through judges' orientation - yep, that's a real thing. They gave us pointers on what we were looking for. I liked that we scored on interview questions and confidence, not just "how pretty" each young lady was. 

The morning hours were spent doing panel-style interviews with both Teen (12 - 17 years old) and Miss (18 - 24 years old) contestants. The young ladies had to hold their own as questions were fired at them for eight to ten minutes. I was impressed with each contestant! Most adults would panic in that setting.

After lunch we looked over folders that contained each young lady's platform and also voted on Most Photogenic. 

We got a break that afternoon, then met for an early dinner. After dinner the judges traveled to the pageant site to get ready for the show. 

Over the course of the day, we scored all sorts of categories. I made quick friends with the judge seated next to me. Katie was also a former Miss University of Alabama (we discovered that we had mutual friends at Bama) and had served as a judge in other prelims around the state. 

So Katie became my pageant guru. "Get your green sheet. Sign it at the bottom. Turn that form over..." and so on. 

Thanks, Katie! 

The pageant was so much fun! I found myself nervous for each contestant. They all did a great job in each category: evening gown, interview, bathing suit and talent. I am now a believer that these young ladies are the total package. Smart, talented, fit...and very brave! 

After all the scores were tallied, the winners were names. 

All the judges are pictured here with Miss Outstanding Teen 2016, Merrill Ann Culverhouse (blonde on left) and Miss Phenix City 2016, KeLeigh Edwards (brunette with purple dress). 

I enjoyed my experience as a judge and the Miss America pageant earned my respect. 

As an added bonus, Miss Alabama, served as the emcee at our pageant. While talking to her I found out she was also a Phi Mu! She graduate from Auburn University and she was outgoing and extremely friendly.

After the pageant Libby was very interested in hearing all about Miss Alabama. Last month Phenix City hosted a send off for Meg before she left for Atlantic City to compete in Miss America. Libby and I attended and she got to meet Meg. 

She was proud to meet her. 

Now that you're all caught up on pageant talk I'll wrap up this post. It was a fun experience to get to peek inside the pageant world. I enjoyed serving as a judge and being a part of all the glamour and gowns for the day! 

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